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This is called Biometric Gate Check – commonly known as facial recognition technology. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has used it to process more than 100 million passengers at airports in the US, but now a bipartisan pair of US senators is asking how the data is being used and Trying to determine whether this is an invasion of privacy, similar to daily life in communist China.

“My concern is that we don’t want America to become China,” US Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo, said in an interview with Granthshala News.


“There’s a lot to be said for facial recognition with people entering the country, but you have to have a different standard for people entering the country who are not US citizens,” Blunt said.

In a letter to CBP earlier this week, Blunt and U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkle, D-Ore., called on officials to give Americans a chance to opt out of facial recognition at airports. He also demanded more transparency.

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“Every US citizen should have the opportunity to make an informed decision to have their biometric data collected and stored, rather than manually verified by a CBP officer, with something they are not familiar with,” the senator writes.

“Every American is entitled to an equal right to privacy and should not go through different airport processing experiences,” the letter said.

“My concern is that we don’t want America to become China.”

— US Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

CBP claims on its website that “passengers who do not wish to have their picture taken can always request CBP to verify their identity directly.”

It’s not just airports where Blunt sees concerns.

Over the years, Blunt has questioned How data from ordinary US citizens is collected and used by Big Tech and private industry.

Blunt wants to know what happens if a US citizen goes to the movies and the trip is recorded using facial recognition software – including who you went with. He wants to know what movie theaters or the government do with the recordings. According to Blunt, this matter is a right to privacy.

US Sen. Jeff Merkle, D-Ore.

When asked to comment on the senators’ letter, CBP spokeswoman Rhonda Lawson said in a statement: “CBP has received the letter. However, we do not comment on Congressional correspondence. CBP responds directly to senators.”

According to CBP’s website, biometric technology allows travel to be “more efficient” because it is a hands-free process.

“It helps stop the spread of germs,” ​​says Site.

Biometric technology at airports stems from a 9/11 Commission report instructing CBP to conduct biometric verification of visitors in and out of the US.

CBP states that “the face comparison software does not store biographical data for any passenger” and retains photographs of US citizens for “no more than” 12 hours.

“Our passenger identity verification process is not a surveillance program,” says CBP.

The senators are seeking a response to their letter by early next month.

“At the government level, we need to set standards and then we need to adhere to those standards,” Blunt says. “China, for example, has become almost entirely controlled by its facial recognition standards, which have to be seen by everyone at all times.

“We don’t want that to happen in our country.”